welcome to "newsline." i'm keikichi hanada in tokyo. here are some of the stories we are following this hour. japan's government has confirmed north korea has set up a new special panel to take a look into the fate of missing and abducted japanese. africa ministers and health experts have met in ghana to try to find a way to stop the biggest ever outbreak of ebola. and a son visually impaired,
japanese soccer players have gathered to compete and promote their game. the japanese government has confirmed north korea has set up a new investigative panel. a panel is re-opening cases of japanese citizens abducted decades ago by north korean agents. they will also look into cases of missing japanese. the japanese government responded by formally deciding to lift some sanctions on north korea. japan is easing three sanctions on north korea that have been in place since 2006. they cover restrictions on travel, money transfers, and port calls by ships. prime minister shinzo abe and his ministers determined on thursday the panel's investigation will be effective. they noted a senior official of the top state organization, the national defense commission, will lead the committee. chief cabinet secretary yoshihda
suga told reporters easing the sanctions were meant to urge north korea to change its attitude. >> translator: our ministers will work together to get north korea to take concrete and proactive action to resolve the abduction, nuclear tests, and missile launch issues. we'll keep some of our sanctions in place as well as those based on u.n. security council resolutions. resolving the abduction issue is of the highest importance for the abe administration. we'll do our utmost to resolve the problem as soon as possible. >> the japanese government will keep other sanctions in place. they include a ban on north korea's cargo passenger ship from entering japanese ports and a ban on imports and exports. and they will continue a freeze on assets against organizations and individuals in line with the
u.n. security council resolution. north korea's state-run news agency also confirmed that a country set up the special committee on friday. the korean central news agency says the panel will carry out what it calls a comprehensive investigation into all japanese and the north. many japanese want to know how far the north korean's committee is prepared to go in its investigation. representatives of the national defense commission and a secret police are sitting on the panel. investigators are divided into four groups, each of which covers a different area. they're examining the fate of the abductees, other missing people, those left behind during world war ii, spouses of north koreans, and the remains of those who died around the end of the war. some analysts fear investigators will have difficulty probing the agents who carried out the kidnappings.
they say it's hard to dig up information on secret missions. china's president xi jinping has met with south korean counterpart park geun-hye. the two leaders confirmed their countries will work closely on the north korean nuclear issue. the trip marks the first time a chinese leader has gone to south korea before visiting the north. china's longtime ally. nhk world reports. >> reporter: xi began his two-day visit to south korea on thursday. after attending a ceremony, he te held talks with park. >> translator: if south korea and china join hands to create a new northeast asia, the dream of the two nations will spread across the region.
>> translator: i want to hold in-depth talks on a broad range of international and regional issues of concern to china and south korea. >> reporter: after the meeting, the two presidents said they agreed to strengthen bilateral ties in a wide spectrum of fields. they said the two nations will work hard to conclude a free trade accord by the end of the year. the leaders expressed strong concerns over north korea's nuclear program. >> translator: we have agreed to work for the denuclearization of north korea, and strongly protest its nuclear testing. >> translator: we will support efforts to make concrete progress on denuclearizing the korean peninsula through negotiations in such frameworks as the six-party talks.
>> reporter: xi and park are trying to rein in north korea's nuclear ambitions and stance by jointly delivering a tough message to pyongyang. nhk world. chinese leaders have been putting the supports in place to reinforce their economy. and they are seeing signs their efforts may be paying off. financial leaders checked the monthly purchasing index to check the state of manufacturing. a figure above 50 indicates growth. a figure below signals a contraction. in june, the official index climbed to 51. the best reading since december. people are also seeing some hardening numbers in industrial
output, retail sales, and a capital investment. they all gained momentum in may. ai uchida spoke earlier with the executive director of research in hong kong who says despite the numbers the government needs to do more. >> basically, if we simply talk about the pmi data, alone, definitely was improving, but even if we take a closer look to, like, new orders, as you said, autos, economic data, like retail sales and also property markets, i do clearly see the signs of recovery in chinese economy. >> what do you think could derail this recovery? >> well, i would not say the word "derail" but definitely you're right. 7.5 gdp growth this year, as he said before, it's not something
easy to achieve. i do believe that the chinese government needs to introduce new and even more fiscal policy and monetary policy to boost overall domestic consumption. because as we all know, the chinese government, anti-corruption is the first thing they need to do but it may hurt high-end consumer good sales. so they need to do something to compensate and to boost the domestic consumption to achieve the gdp growth. >> and how soon do you think leaders could put some measures in place? >> i guess within this year. they may do some kind of, like, fiscal and monetary policy, but actually they did, like the targeted reserve requirements, ratio cuts for those banks. they do more lending for those rural area and also medium-size to small-size firm. they introduced that. and i do expect some kind of tax
reform will be introduced in third quarter or in the fourth quarter to boost overall domestic consumption. not talk about the very high-end consumer goods but talk about the mid-tier consumer groups to achieve the economic growth. >> now, officials announced 7.4% growth in the first quarter. second quarter numbers will be out in a couple of weeks. what are you expecting there? >> right. well, my expectation is so simple. i think it will improve. overall on the year-on-year basis, compared to our first quarter, i expect when we see the gdp growth on july 16th, it will be, like, 7.6%. this is my forecast. experts at the world bank have asked japanese officials for help on a matter that's close to home. they've collaborated on a report to help developing countries prepare for natural disasters.
the report draws on lessons from the earthquake and tsunami three years ago in northeastern japan. the disaster severed transport routes and paralyzed manufacturers. the report says businesses need to be well prepared so they can keep going in the event of a catastrophe. and it says government leaders should make sure they have protective infrastructure and evacuation plans in place. the report says authorities should use radio and smartphones to share information. it says it's impossible to avoid natural disasters, but effective planning can lessen the damage. managers in thailand at nissan motor have had to respond to dissafer during the flooding over the last few years. they've seen protest after protest over the last few months
and a cou px. still they've decided to build a second plant. the opening ceremony took place right outside bangkok. managers plan to produce up to 150,000 vehicles a year, most of them pickup trucks. they'll sell the vehicles in thailand and other southeast asian countries. other japanese carmakers have seen sales plunge and are ramping down their production. health ministers from 11 west african nations have adopted a new strategy to try to contain the worst ever outbreak of the deadly ebola virus. the ministers and officials from the world health organization have been discussing the matter at a two-day emergency meeting in ghana. delegates called for immediate action. they said steps taken so far have been insufficient. the latest ebola outbreak began
in guinea in march. it has since spread to neighboring liberia and sierra leone. the number of confirmed and suspected cases in the three countries has reached 759. 467 people have died. >> the impact of this outbreak has been enormous in terms of loss of human lives and negative effect in social economic life. >> the delegates have agreed to increase surveillance and information sharing. they will also set up a subregional control center in guinea to jooversee coordinatio. efforts to contain the outbreak have been complicated because it covers such a wide area. w.h.o. officials say they think it will take u.n. workers several months to get the
disease under control. kurdish leaders in iraq have taken another step in their drive for independence, but iraqi leaders are trying to block their efforts. the kurds leader called on regional lawmakers to lay the groundwork for referendum in a kurdish autonomous region. he said he intends to hold a vote within the next several months. kurds make up 20% of iraq's population. they have long been at odds with the government. and prime minister nuri al maliki has resisted any attempts toward independence. but over the last several weeks, sunni militants have launched an offensive across northern and western iraq. kurdish fighters have taken advantage of the instability by seizing. they've taken control of karkuk, the site of one of the country's largest oil fields. the kurds face opposition from turkey and iran, both of which have large kurdish minority
populations. the family of a palestinian teenager is planning to say good-bye. his body was found earlier this week in jerusalem. his family believes he was murdered in a revenge killing. hundreds of palestinians took to the streets of east jerusalem in protest. some hurled fire bombs and stones at israeli police. several people were injured. the boy was last seen on wednesday being forced into a car. he was found later in the day in a wooded area. his body reportedly had wound marks on it. many palestinians believe somebody killed him in retaliation for the murders of three israeli teenagers. the teens were abducted last month. their bodies were found earlier this week. israeli leaders blamed members of the islamic resistance group, hamas. some israelis posted messages online calling for retaliation. ukrainian president petro
poroshenko says his country will agree to a new cease-fire with pro-russian separatists if certain conditions are met. poroshenko spelled out the conditions in a phone conversation with u.s. vice president joe biden. the conditions include a release of ukrainian soldiers detained by pro-russian forces and stepped up monitoring of the border between russia and ukraine by the organization for security and cooperation in europe. poroshenko's office says biden expressed his support. poroshenko called off a unilateral cease-fire on tuesday. since then, fierce bats have been rages in eastern ukraine. ukrainian officials say one soldier and three policemen were killed on thursday. u.s. president barack obama and german chancellor angela merkel also spoke by phone. they said russia must take immediate steps to deescalate the conflict. they also said they should work
together to put additional pressure on russia if it does not deal with the situation. people in the philippine capital have been preparing for possible disaster. they held a drill in case they get hit by an earthquake and a tsunami. >> two, one. press. [ sirens ] >> the planners in manila based the exercise on a quake with a magnitude of 7.0 to 8.0. more than 1,500 of officials and volunteers took part. an earthquake siren alerted people to get out of buildings and head to evacuation points. then came a tsunami warning. people followed instructions to get inside buildings and head upstairs. the area hasn't had an earthquake strong enough to destroy buildings for around 40
years. still they say the region has an active fault and a parti powerf quake every 400 to 600 years. two people have died in myanmar. a series of violent clashes have erupted between buddhist and minority muslims since 2012. more than 240 people have been killed. the latest riot broke out in central mandalay on tuesday night and raged on until early wednesday. several hundred people turned up armed with clubs and knives. police used rubber bullets to disperse them. reuters quoted an army colonel saying two people were killed and 14 injured. the news reports say the riot was triggered by internet rumors that a muslim tea shop owner had raped a buddhist woman. conflicts between the two
communities have intensified in the last two years. tens of thousands of people have lost their homes and are living as evacuees. myanmar is emerging from half a century of military rule and is reforming under president thein seng who took office in 2011. this could undermine the infant democracy. some of the visually impaired japanese soccer players have squared off on the pitch. they've competed in a national tournament and they also used the event to showcase their new sport to intrigue fans. >> reporter: players running back and forth on a soccer pitch. an ordinary scene except they cannot see the ball. japan's blind soccer championships were held at the end of june. 12 teams from around the country competed in the tournament.
bearings placed inside the ball produce a rattling noise. sound is critical in the absence of visual information. players also rely on the instructions of a teammate standing behind the goal. this person is known as the caller. >> shoot! shoot! shoot! >> reporter: verbal communication is an essential aspect of blind soccer. this player has been selected to train with japan's national squad. he started playing blind soccer in junior high. now he's hoping to win over more fans. >> translator: blind soccer teaches people all kinds of things, for example, the value of communication. i'm hoping people will go and try it out for themselves and then watch a real game at a
stadium. >> reporter: he is on his way to an elementary school on the outskirts of tokyo. the visit is part of a special program to let children experience this unique sport. >> translator: by giving them the opportunity of interacting with someone like me, i am hoping they will understand that being disabled is not such a big deal. that i'm not so different from them. >> reporter: the children begin by wearing a blindfold and following vocal instructions. >> translator: stop. go left. a bit further. >> reporter: once they feel a bit more comfortable, the children can start chasing and passing the ball, also based on vocal instructions.
>> translator: it was pretty scary. >> translator: now i see how tough it is to be blind. >> reporter: in april, the japan blind football association started offering training programs to private companies. 50 junior employees of a real estate company are taking part in today's session. >> translator: i want you to improve your teamwork with these blindfolds. >> reporter: this exercise involves running straight toward a teammate. participants find it very difficult to run at full speed if they don't trust their partner. in this other game, the blindfolded player is placed inside a circle. the point is to try and touch the ball as it's passed around. here again, other members use
their voice to guide the sightless player. the objective of this drill is to improve focus and communication. >> translator: exercises like these put you in someone else's shoes. they're essential to our job as salespeople, because we have to be able to think from our customers' perspective. >> reporter: strong teamwork is a key element in many sports. the extra skills required for blind soccer are making it increasingly popular beyond the world of the visually impaired. >> the blind football world championships take place every four years. athletes will compete again this november in tokyo. now let's take a look at the
world weather forecast with sayaka mori. >> hello there. the eighth tropical storm for the western pacific had formed. it's a large system. it's engulfing guam. high surf warnings remain in place at least into your sunday here. and because it's a wide open water, there's no obstacle to weaken the system. that means it's going to intensify into a typhoon by the time it reaches the okinawa region by the mid part of next week. this is something we should be monitoring for the time being. we have another system, this one is arthur, a hurricane. made landfall on the east coast of north carolina. packing winds of 155 kilometers per hour with much high eer gus and going to stay near the coast of north carolina for the next several hours. stormy conditions will prolong and then as we go into the next couple of days it's going to stay near the coast of the northeastern u.s. and probably
hit nova scotia as a low-pressure system by your friday evening local time. regardless of the tropical status, it's definitely producing some lots of heavy rainfall, plus windy conditions here as we go into the later part of this week. now, stormy conditions will prolong in the carolinas as i mentioned for the next several hours. up to 200 millimeters of rain is on the cards for you. on top of that, there is a risk of tornadoes, and then storm surges as well as life-threatening rip currents as well as surf over the coastal areas. and we have another strong system over the northeastern u.s. the combination of tropical moisture and the cold front. severe weather has been occurring in the mid-atlantic coast up to the new england states. lots of hail and strong gusts have been reported. but on your independence day on friday, clear conditions should come back in washington, d.c., in the afternoon hours. mostly rainy on friday in new york city, but clear conditions should come back by the nighttime hours.
so the fire events should be okay. but thundershowers will continue into boston throughout your friday, but sunny weather will come back on saturday and sunday. as for l.a., sunny and hot conditions will prolong. it's the early part of summer, but it was like winter in northern spain because of a massive hailstorm. take a look at some video. a freak hailstorm on thursday surprised residents in spain. it fell for more than ten minutes and blanketed the ground in white with hailstones from the size of marbles to as big as golf balls. today was like a winter wonderland out there. the severe weather maker is now affecting france. lots of rain and hail could be a possibility there. and a new system will be coming in to the british isles within the next 24 hours. but staying try on your friday with gusty conditions. but saturday should be wet and this can possibly lead to delays and even some cancelations of
any matches on the outdoor course in wimbledon. championship sunday should be okay. and as for brazil, the field condition should be quite good because there's no precipitation in sight in these places, but it's going to be quite humid and hot. all right. that's it for me now. here's your extended forecast around the globe.